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how to highlight part of a line

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  • how to highlight part of a line

    When I view differences between two files and click on a line and drag across it, the whole line is highlighted, not the part dragged over. This seems to violate the software principle of least surprise, and indeed I have never seen another program displaying text, that would behave differently.

    I could not find an option to change this behaviour.

    How to highlight only part of a line (and why is the default behaviour strange)?

  • #2

    Assuming this is in BC4's Text Compare, Full Edit mode might have been disabled.

    Full Edit Mode (F2, and on the toolbar) enables in-pane editing and selection like a text editor, and is on by default. If toggled off, the toggle is sticky and remembered for future use. It prevents editing and individual character selection. Re-enable Full Edit mode (also in the Edit menu) to enable selection and editing in the Text Compare.

    If you are in a different compare type, or using a different version of Beyond Compare, let us know or post a full screen screenshot and I can provide detailed steps.
    Aaron P Scooter Software


    • #3
      OK thank you, this works.

      I am a software engineer too so I will give you some feedback.

      You have something that changes the editing features dramatically - "Full Edit or not Full Edit". It is never mentioned in your documentation, never mentioned in your menus, and it is very easy to turn off and on by accident, there is no confirmation dialog, and moreover when one turns it on/off my mistake, it is not immediately obvious that happened.

      That is terrible user interface design, folks. I love your software in general, but this is bad.


      • #4

        Thanks for the feedback. Line mode vs. character mode is detailed in the documentation, along with Full edit as a button in the toolbar section. The button itself is a toggle state UI, similar to the Display Filters. BC4's notifications can sometimes be subtle, such as Editing Disabled (Session Setting or File Format controlled) mode which is small text in the bottom status bar.

        Since some people use Full Edit disabled as their primary mode, either mode has to be easily readable and look like the 'normal' way. Improving our UI is something always on our radar, but it isn't as easy as greying out the interface when editing is disabled.
        Aaron P Scooter Software


        • #5
          OK, I don't have time to argue with you, and I am certainly not a "stable genius", so I will use someone who is: Joel Spolsky, the CEO of Stack Overflow, and he has this famous "Joel Test", I am sure you heard of it, companies are using their scores to woo prospective engineers. OK, one of the items is "Hallway Usability Testing".

          Hitting F2 is a perfectly reasonable typo and for most softwares, nothing happens. So what you do, is you start up BC4 in its default state, hit F2 as if by mistake, and then go and grab a random engineer, who is not already familliar with the BC4 UI. And ask them to highlight a part of a line. (I asked you to hit F2 without them knowing, so that you simulate the situation of this innocuous typo, that the user does not know they did.).

          And then watch what happens. You are not allowed to help them. Just observe what is happening.

          You can repeat this for more engineers. I have no doubt what will happen, and it sounds like you don't either. So do this exercise and find out if you were correct.

          You are welcome.
          Last edited by Mark Galeck; 03-Aug-2018, 01:21 PM.


          • #6
            I have to agree with Mark that this is very non-intuitive behavior. Selecting arbitrary text (to copy, for example) is NOT editing and is pretty much universally available - even in applications that don't support editing in any way.

            My 2 cents. BTW, I've never been bothered by this issue myself or even noticed it.

            Les (BC fan)


            • #7
              When Full Edit mode is disabled, the selection style and navigation works like earlier versions of BC1/2, where the arrow keys allow for quick pane navigation and full line merging, while also offering line editing in the Line Details section at the bottom and protecting against accidental edits when working with a comparison job where new edits are prohibited. When adding Full Edit mode in BC3, many users expressed that they would like to toggle between either mode as needed within a single comparison task.
              Aaron P Scooter Software